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Making the weight

As we countdown to the 35th America's Cup The Royal Gazette will bring you one fun fact a day about the boats, the sailors, the crew, or the history of this illustrious competition. There are now 18 days until the month-long sporting spectacle gets under way.

There was an “18th Man” on the boats racing for the America's Cup between 1992 and 2007.

The International America's Cup Class yachts were crewed by 17 individuals. The boats had to carry what was known as the “18th Man”, a passenger or the equivalent weight up to 100kg. This was a highly sought-after position, often filled by a celebrity or a representative from one of the key sponsors to the team.

The International Americas Cup Class was a class of racing yacht that was developed for the America's Cup between 1992 and 2007. These yachts, while not identical, were all designed to the same formula to offer designers the freedom to experiment whilst keeping the boats sufficiently comparable to race in real time. The class was established for the 1992 America's Cup because of perceived shortcomings of the 12-metre class, which had been used in the America's Cup since 1958.

In addition to the America's Cup, IACC yachts were raced in other regattas, including the IACC worlds.

In 2007 in Valencia, Spain, the site of the America's Cup, a Chicago businessman bid $102,600 to win an online charity auction for a ride aboard BMW Oracle Racing's yacht in the elimination series.

Donald Wilson, 39, the founder and CEO of DRW Trading Group, joined the bidding about two hours before it closed and outlasted others trying to win the “18th Man” spot.

“For a major sponsor of an America's Cup team, you could write a cheque for tens of millions of dollars and get to go on a ride, so maybe it was cheap,” Wilson said.

Wilson sailed with the only US-based syndicate during the fourth race of the Louis Vuitton Cup semi-finals on May 18.

Wilson's entire bid went to the Susan G Komen for the Cure for breast cancer research.

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Published May 08, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 06, 2017 at 7:50 pm)

Making the weight

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